The plot: The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women lives up to its name. Not only does this exclusive boarding school teach advanced language skills and correct deportment; its students also master the arts of tapping phones, hacking into computers, and spying in public places. At school, second-generation Gallagher Girl Cammie Morgan has impeccable credentials: She is fluent in 14 languages and able to kill an assailant in seven different ways. But recently life has dealt Cammie a card that she never anticipated: She has fallen in love with an ordinary boy who knows nothing about her exotic double life. A truly covert romance. (Summary from goodreads.com)
My opinion: The title is obviously great (just as the sequels') and the covers with the tartan boarding school skirts are awesome too and what got me to want to read the novel in the first place. But what about the content?
This is a light and funny read. A very funny one. On more than one occasion, I've found myself laughing quietly to myself while reading. It is Cammie’s voice that makes this novel fun, for me. She's a teenager without being annoying. She’s ironic, sarcastic and utterly funny.
“Number of empty Ben & Jerry's ice cream containers: 3 - two mint chocolate cookie, one plain vanilla. (Who buys plain vanilla ice cream from Ben & Jerry's, anyway? Is there a greater waste?)”
And although a super spy, Cammie's just as insecure about herself as any other teenage girl, making her easy to relate to. Add her falling for a "normal" boy and trying to get him without compromising her school and her spy identity.
I adore the spy boarding school setting of the Gallagher Academy, and the girls being female James Bonds. Talk about girl power! In a very small way it reminds me of Harry Potter, but only in the sense that they attend a specialized boarding school special subjects (spy-connected ones) instead of ordinary ones, except for foreign languages I suppose, although there are unusually many of them. As a language teacher myself I especially appreciate the boards in the lunch room telling the students what language to speak in. Or how Cammie sometimes is unsure what language she actually spoke just then. (There I can relate although I'm only speaking three languages.)
As I started by saying, this is a light and funny read and I'm definitely gonna check out the next installment in the series.